Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Hangouts

A good ad for Google+ Hangouts with Wallace & Gromit.

Google seem to be promoting Hangouts as the main feature of Google+; I hope we get to see some stats on the number of people who do this over Christmas!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Trends for 2012 - The Audit

I thought it would be useful to look back at my trends deck from last year (12 Trends for 2012) to see how I did.  What I got right, & what I got wrong.

Mobile Commerce - 
Yes - lots of us are spending more through mobile.  For example eBay and Paypal reported record levels of sales through mobile in the run up to Christmas this year, mobile accounts for 18% of Domino's online pizza sales in the UK, and 20% of Orbitz hotel bookings...  & there are lots more stats like this (assuming that mobile includes tablets)

Mobile Payments - 
Yes & No.  Mobile is a both a huge influencer on retail sales in store, and retailers like Starbucks are seeing lots of mobile payments (over 2 million a week currently).  But...  While more handsets have NFC (over a million Android devices per week) and nine of the ten top handset manufacturers make at least one handset with NFC, crucially Apple doesn't yet.  There are different standards of payment, and lots of other things holding NFC back.  What's interesting is that Square, which is very anti-NFC now has over 1 million merchants using its technology in the US and is processing over ten billion dollars a year has achieved this without any NFC capability.  Oh - and Square didn't launch anywhere outside the US this year.

Mobile + TV - 
Yes - Mobile & TV are interacting very well, especially when it's Twitter on the mobile.  This chart shows the Tweets per minute during the last episode of The X-Factor in the UK, and SecondSync now produces a leaderboard of the most Tweeted about TV shows in the UK.  In the US half of all mobile owners use their phones when they're watching TV, while Shazam was used by nearly half of the advertisers at this year's Super Bowl, and is releasing lots of data on the effectiveness of ads that use its technology

Connected TV - 
Yes & No.  As with mobile payments the issue is getting hardware into circulation.  However there are lots of interesting things happening, for example The TV App Agency is making lots of TV apps for brands.  TV is also becoming a connected device through other devices, for example in the US Xbox households spend an average of 84 hours a month with online services, and one fast-growing company in China, Transmension puts mobile and online games onto TV.  It was the partial failure of these trends that led me to put 'Work-arounds' into the 2013 trends - lots of work-arounds are emerging to allow people to do connected things on their TVs before they have a fully connected set.

Mobile in China, India & Africa - 
Yes.  For example in China the mobile messaging service Weixin (WeChat) now has more than 200 million users, 3G subscriber levels grew over 800% in India, an Indian company has developed at $40 tablet to revolutionise internet access, in Nigeria over 80% of Facebook users access over mobile, and mobile banking is becoming essential.

Mobile's Threat to Other Services - 
Yes.  Mobile has continued to kill off or damage other services.  For example texting is now in decline in the US while WhatsApp is delivering 10 billion messages a day.

Ecosystems & Walled Gardens - 
Yes.  The recent changes that make it harder to see Instagram pics in Twitter, the removal of Google Maps from the iPhone (& it's reinstatement) are just two examples of this.

Real Time Bidding & Automation -
Yes.  DSPs are growing, and now that Facebook has launched its own exchange the available impressions have increased as much as fourfold.

Education Enabled - 
Yes.  Coursera now has 1.6 million enrolled students, other companies are getting into education (for example the publisher Pearson has launched a degree course), and the retailer Target is helping kids get education in the US.

Hijacks & Guerrilla Marketing
Yes.  Lots.  From the inevitable Olympics ones that managed to dance around legal restrictions to the very recent hijacking of Starbucks' #SpreadTheCheer, to brands hijacking their own customers sarcastic comments...

'eBay' for Services - 
Yes.  Zaarly have gone from strength to strength, adding a Zaarly button to other sites so that you can find someone to cook a recipe for you, for example, Pepsi used TaskRabbit in a campaign, letting their customers win an extra hour by finding someone to do tasks for them, Roamler has launched in the UK and is using people for several tasks, and other competitors are launching.

Simplicity -
Yes - Clearly its not everywhere, but examples include the Dollar Shave Club, campaigns like Bacon Barter (can you travel across the country paying only with bacon?), VW's Beetle-shaped shark cage for Shark Week,  and there's now even a Brand Simplicity Index.

So that's ten and two halves out of 12, which I think is very good.  Yes, you can argue that I pick quite easy targets, but I think I did well in highlighting some themes that would be important.

See the full deck here.

& now see this year's trends here.

How far would you go for Delites..?

This is a follow up to this vending machine stunt that I featured back in July.  Back then people were just asked to do silly things; now Delites has upped the ante and put a great big hamster wheel in a mall.

I guess you'd have some problems doing this in the UK (& especially in the US) but it looks like fun until they start to go too fast!

Very clever 3D ads

Here are two ads which use 3D technology, and the way that you see different things out of different eyes to achieve the 3D effect.

First, for Women's Aid, an ad that raises issues about domestic violence.  The full film can't be seen yet, but this gives you an idea.  It's going to be shown in cinemas in the UK before 3D screenings of The Hobbit - so people will all have 3D glasses:

Second, Axe (Lynx in the UK) have this ad that uses a more primitive red and green 3D technology.  Close your left or right eye to see a different scenario play out:

Rewind 2012 - YouTube Style


It really shows how YouTube now has a really deep relationship with the people who make the videos!

Behind the scenes:

Also, this very handy interactive timeline (UK only) which shows the top videos by month

Plus - The Year in Review (location-specific)

The Year in Review - Global

Thursday, December 13, 2012

10 Trends for 2013

My new presentation is now on Slideshare.  (It's one of the reasons I haven't been posting here in the past few days).  I'm planning on doing a review of last year's trends, and also a post about each of the trends, explaining my thinking a bit more.

10 Trends for 2013 from Dan Calladine

You can also read my trends from previous years:





Wednesday, November 28, 2012

1 Share, 1 Condom

1Share1Condom is a great new initiative from Durex for World Aids Day.  Ever time a message from the page is shared through Twitter, Facebook or RenRen (a nice addition) Durex donate a condom to the developing world, up to a target of 2,500,000.

There are different language options - English, German, French, Italian, Spanish and Chinese, and it all works very smoothly.

Well done everyone!

Help meet the target here.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Ebenezer Snoop

No, sadly it's not a Snoop Dogg / Shamen mashup (although I'm sure the world can't live long without that); it's a new campaign for my agency's client adidas, showing people the errors of their uncharitable ways though Snoop & Facebook.

This video tells the story - watch out for a few cameos, including David Beckham.

Then go to Facebook to see how much of an Ebenezer you are - how you forgot people's birthdays or didn't respond when they wrote on your wall (sorry everyone...):

& here's the final redemption:

Friday, November 23, 2012

Gifts for Geeks

I love Christmas shopping!   Not wishing to blow my own trumpet, I think I'm pretty good at finding unusual & creative gifts for people.  So, here are my picks for Christmas gifts for geeks.

For the science geek:

The Geek Manifesto, by Mark Henderson - a book about why science matters

For the cooking geek:

Ninja Bread Men cookie cutters

For the climate change geek:

Polar ice caps ice molds - set of two - Just don't tell them that you shipped them from Japan...

For the glamorous geek:

Jewellery made from the pattern of your online checkins - upload different checkin locations and make a pattern

For the streetfood geek:

One of these American Hot Dog prints

For the cycling geek:

The Rouleur Bradley Wiggins mug - #Wiggo #PedaltotheMedal

For the camera geek:

A set of 3 camera lens shot glasses - Canon or Nikon

For the LEGO geek:

Have yourself made as a LEGO Minifig - Done to order from photos

For the Instagram geek (1)

Make a bag from your pics - other products also available

For the Instagram geek (2)

Make some fridge magnets from your pics

For the Gaming geek

Some Penguin-style game covers

To be continued!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Halo 4 TV ads include real gamers recruited on Facebook

Halo 4 Enlist is a promotional programme for the game that takes Facebook fans and puts them on TV.

Fans need to go to this page to 'enlist' (UK, France, Germany & Spain only), and then they may see themselves at the end of a TV ad, like this one.

It's a fun idea, and I think we'll see more and more online data and content pulled into offline ads like this.  bet365 are the most famous for doing it; they put live odds into the TV ads during the half time break in football matches.

& of course there was this work for Prometheus earlier this year, where tweeted reactions to a trailer were put into an ad 20 minutes later.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Overly Attached... to Samsung

In the same week that EE re-made 'Fenton', Samsung have taken another 'natural' YouTube hit and turned it into an ad.  It's a bit odd in that I thought Laina was promoting the benefits of a phone over a computer, but no, the payoff is a bit different.

(The comments are hilarious)

& this is the original, which was an entry to a Justin Bieber contest.  She was also used in a Mitt Romney meme.

Imagine how much Psy could get if he wanted to do a Gangnam ad.

Juicy Couture's shoppable video

A nice example of what's possible with YouTube videos now - click the box on screen at any point to be taken through the buy the item Candice Swanepoel is wearing.


Note that it even works embedded

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Book review – Defending Your Brand by Tim Calkins

These days defence is becoming part of every brand’s strategy.  Each year it seems more and more people are coming out of MBA schools drilled (brainwashed?) into a mantra of looking for industries ‘ripe for disruption’ and trying to shake things up.  Established brands are also looking more closely at what their competitors are doing, and whether they can move into that too. 

In this context Tim Calkins’ new book Defending Your Brand, How Smart Companies use Defensive Strategy to Deal with Competitive Attacks, is very useful.  Set out over 15 chapters it provides a comprehensive guide to how to defend brand, from recognising a threat and compiling competitive intelligence to the legal aspects.  Calkins is very well placed to write about this as a professor at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management; he clearly knows the subject inside out.

Given the title of this blog, I really enjoyed the number of real world examples that featured.  In the chapter on Blocking Distribution we’re told that Coca Cola and other big manufacturers are able to stop other entrants very effectively because they control something like 80% of the bottling capacity. 

In the chapter on Preventing The Launch, we get the example of Nike defending against Under Armour by launching their own Nike Pro Baselayer, damaging their competitor’s chances of launching in Europe; in the chapter on Limiting Awareness we get the story of Russian retailer Eldorado limiting a competitor’s launch by buying up all the outdoor space near to the new stores.

I really enjoyed this book, and while it isn’t a day-to-day concern for me it taught me a lot.  It’s a must for every serious business & marketing library.  My only complaint would be the lack of an index, but since I had an uncorrected proof this may now have been rectified.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Athlete Machine - Red Bull Kluge

Red Bull have created their own 'Rube Goldberg Machine' (if you're American) / Mousetrap contraption (if you're British) using lots of the extreme sports stars that they sponsor.  It's clearly done in different takes, but it's an amazing piece of work.  I actually said 'wow' out loud when Danny MacAskill appeared.

There seems to be a trend for using multiple celebrities in small cameos - another example is this new ad for Call of Duty:

Via my colleague Naomi

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Fenton Remastered for 4G

Very clever stunt by EE to promote their 4G service in the UK

Guaranteed to get lots of views and coverage.

The much-loved lo-fi original

Monday, November 12, 2012

A 3D printing photo booth in Japan

3D printing is (I think) on the cusp of becoming big.  Not mainstream yet, but definitely growing both in terms of interest and actual examples.  Chris Anderson's new book is all about 3D printing, and as the author of both The Long Tail and Free he's very good at spotting trends.

This photo booth has just opened in Tokyo.  It's (a bit) like a normal photo booth, except that you get a 3D mini-me of yourself.  You need to book a session to attend, but it's very cute.

I think that 3D printing will follow a similar adoption path to fax machines; at first it will only be businesses and high street copy shops that will have them, which people will then use on an ad hoc basis, and most people won't feel the need to get one at all.

(If you had one, what would you make?  This article in Wired has lots of good ideas, for example cookie cutters, modelled on children's drawings.  I know lots of people who'd do that.)

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Halloween campaigns on Twitter & Instagram

This started off as a post about brands marketing around Halloween, but then the only two I could find were brands that used Twitter & Instagram, so I'm focussing on those two.

Top Shop has been holding an Instagram competition called #TrickorTweet - they gave vouchers to their favourite costumes or looks of the day, for example:

See more here

Meanwhile in the US Dunkin' Donuts asked people to dress up their cups - and again post pictures on Instagram (or just on Twitter) with the hashtag #DressDD

See more here

Beyond that I'm a bit disappointed with the activity, given that Halloween now generates more sales in the supermarkets than Valentine's Day, apparently.  There have been some things in Asia according to Campaign and there have been lots of products in the shops in the UK, like McVitie's Jaffa Lemon & Slime bars and Cadbury's Scream Eggs:

There could be lots more creativity though.  Witness what these Americans are doing with the idea of 'Reverse Trick or Treating'...

Any I've missed out on?  Tell me in the comments!

Update - One from AT&T in the US:

Update - Outdoor ads from El Paso in the UK

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Ikea - Playin' With My Friends

Great 3 minute film - and the end will give you goosebumps!


Made for Ikea UK by Mother, with music from Masters in France

Friday, October 26, 2012

Coke's Korean Happiness Machine

Coca Cola have new produced a new variation on their classic Happiness Machine; this time asking people to dance for their Cokes.

Similar too to this vending machine from a couple of months ago.

Next Generation Media Quarterly - October 2012

Another of my qarterly recaps, looking at the most important and interesting stories around digital media from the last 3 months.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Location-based Chinese Angry Birds game only works in McDonald's

This is clearly the future of mobile gaming - create levels that can only be played in certain places.

From AdAge:

"TBWA/Shanghai and TBWA/Gameplay (which is based in Helsinki and has a relationship with Rovio) developed the campaign, which gives special hidden game modes and free Power-Ups to McDonald's customers who are playing Angry Birds on their iOS devices. [...]
In addition to the spot and customized game, which features in-game advertising and is available on both mobile and desktop devices, the campaign also includes in-store promotions, online advertising, social and outdoor media. Consumers will also be given the opportunity to vote on a city that will get to build an actual "slingshot," outside its branch of McDonald's."


LG - So real it's scary

This would freak me out.  Very well done, and a great way to demonstrate the realism of the screens

Monday, October 22, 2012

James Bond ads by Skyfall Sponsors

A new James Bond film is always a huge event, especially in the UK, and part of the strategy in the marketing is to get the official partners to help promote the film.  They do lots of promotion of their own as well of course, for example this game to see if you're fit to be a secret agent, but here are examples of the ads and initiatives from Skyfall's partners:

Coke Zero

Unlock the 007 in you:

Very cleverly followed up a few weeks later by this real life stunt:

Coke Zero are also using Aurasma to encourage people to buy drinks in the cinemas.  If you buy a Coke Zero in a special cup in a Vue cinema you can scan it with your phone using the Aurasma app and 'wait for the magic to happen'


A special commercial, with clips from the film.

...Which is linked to this Facebook Game


A short ad for the official Skyfall Seamaster watch


Nothing yet, but they did supply the motorbikes in the film


This ad for all of the Sony technology that Bond uses, including a Vaio and the Xperia T

(What's the deal with that?  Why are Q Branch giving him an Xperia T?  Are the spending cuts that bad?  It's probably less plausible than when he had an invisible car in Die Another Day)

Also, Sony pulled this stunt at a screening in Sweden.  Very clever!

Any things I've missed?  Please add any other tips in the comments!

Aldo Israel's Instagram Stunt

I love Instagram, you love Instagram, Harry Styles particularly loves Instagram...  What's not to like?

This is a fun campaign using Instagram as a way of participating.

Aldo Israel create a stunt where they asked people to take a picture of their shoes, tag and upload the picture with their shoe size, and then wait to see what happened.  It's essentially a cross between some of the vending machine examples we've seen, and Kellogg's Pay With A Tweet #TweetShop.

More Instagram examples here via Simply Zesty

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Facebook - The Things That Connect Us

The first ad for Facebook, by Wieden & Kennedy.  "Chairs are like Facebook..."

Update - Oh dear - that didn't take long:

...Or this:

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

'Blipp' a $5 bill to Donate to Obama

At the Mobile Marketing Live conference today Blippar showed an entertaining use of their augmented reality.

They've used their technology in the US to let people donate to the Obama campaign.  Just scan (or Blipp in their terminology) a $5 bill, and then you can donate to Obama on his website.  Alternatively you can look at other features, and even create a photo of a friend high-fiving Obama.

It's a fun use of the app, and a great idea to set something as every day as a five dollar bill as the trigger.  Having said that though, Burger King used a one dollar bill as the trigger for this augmented reality banner ad back in 2009.

Also - I love how Blippar is trying to get Blipp to be adopted as a verb; they use it on all their materials now - e.g. Blipp this for a coupon.

Monday, October 01, 2012

Paddy Power's Twitter Skywriting

Europe retained the Ryder Cup this weekend, and one of their biggest supporters was Paddy Power.
Paddy Power bought the promoted trend #GoEurope on Sunday, and had a team of skywriters, organised through CURB media, to put some of the Tweets into the sky, visible 20 miles away.

A brilliant stunt, and a great way of turning Tweets into real world objects, albeit transitory ones.

Full press release here, and more analysis here.

Also - as a sign of how well Paddy Power did with their promoted trend, Javier Ballesteros Tweeted this - & got over 1,000 retweets - presumably without payment:

Friday, September 28, 2012

'Wake the F--- Up and Vote for Obama'

Samuel L Jackson reprises his 'Go the fuck to sleep' video in this film.  "Paid for by the Jewish Council for Education and Research, not authorized by any candidate or candidates committee."

I suspect this may be this election's 'Yes We Can'

Visit for more details on the video.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Coca Cola turn a magazine into a loudspeaker

This is brilliant.  One of my colleagues sent me this link, and initially I though that Coca Cola had embedded something very expensive into a print ad, but no - they've just used some well-placed paper cuts on the outside of a magazine to turn it into a loudspeaker to amplify music played over the iPhone.  As it says 'amplify the party'.

psfk has the full story, but basically its a very clever way to promote the first year anniversay of Coca-Cola.FM, the Brazillian online radio station.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Kellogg's #TweetShop - Pay with a Tweet

Kellogg's are claiming a world's first with a pop-up shop in London where you pay with a tweet.  (Kellogg are a client of the agency I work for, but I'm not involved in this campaign)

It was announced this morning with this Tweet:

In the name of research I went down at lunchtime to get some - here's the outside of the shop:

& a packet of the Special K Cracker Crisps

& the Tweet I sent to get my free packet.

The shop is on Meard Street (Off Wardour Street) and is open until Friday.

Fifty Five DSL #55SecondsToLive

#55SecondsToLive is a new campaign from fashion brand 55DSL.  It's like a tweet race, but when each level of tweets is reached new content gets released.

It was inspired by the brand's recent launch in India, where they used the theme 'Paint Your Town' and got street artists involved.  This has been extended online where people can paint the web with their ambitions, through the medium of twitter.

As they get to each threshold one Tweet will be judged the most creative, and that user will get a prize.

At the time of writing it's still all up for grabs, so get involved!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Optimising for Instagram

As Instagram gets more and more popular - over 100m users, now, and 45% of pics use no filter, so forget the hipster cliches - people are trying integrate it into their communications.

Two examples:

First, the Barack Obama campaign is now posting square pictures on Facebook, making them perfect for screen grabbing and posting on Instagram.  This one is very well done.

(I've now realised that lots of brands post square pics on Facebook, but I hadn't noticed it done so well before)

Second, brands are trying to create photo opportunities for people to take pics to share.  I saw this one in Leicester Square a couple of months ago.

Seen any other good examples of people making it easier to share?

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Political Snarking

Three recent examples of what is effectively user generated snarking at political figures.  Yes, all come from publications, rather than users, but all brilliantly pick up on that spreads and gains traction online.

First, in response to the leaked video of Mitt Romney claiming that he was never going to get the vote of the 47% of Americans who pay no taxes (he meant income taxes), Slate produced this flow chart of whether or not Romney wants your vote.

Next, on the same theme, Cracked produced this short quiz of quotes from either Mitt Romney or Monty Burns from The Simpsons.

& finally, here's a video that British online magazine The Poke produced, autotuning Nick Clegg's apology to voters.

(To give him his due, when The Poke asked Clegg if they could sell the song on iTunes he said yes, as long as the proceeds went to a specified charity)

Any of these could have the power to affect people's perceptions (given enough exposure) as famous newspaper front pages of the past, for example the The Sun's 'Crisis, What Crisis?'

Friday, September 14, 2012

The Friskies

Awarded for the best cat video of the year, obviously.  A brilliant, brilliant idea.

You can see this getting lots of coverage across all the channels including TV and in the press.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

BaconBarter - what can you buy for Bacon?

This is a very clever campaign that could really take off.

To demonstrate the attractive qualities of Oscar Mayer's bacon, Josh Sankey is travelling across America with a truck of (hopefully refrigerated) bacon, but no money or credit cards.

To get what he needs in terms of other food, accommodation, fuel, entertainment and so on, he must trade the bacon along the way.

People can monitor his progress and contact him through the usual social channels, including Twitter, including the hashtag #BaconBarterFacebook, and Instagram.

I really, really like this.  If it takes off you can see the bacon lasting a long time as many different people will be competing to trade with him, making the bacon go further.  See how seriously I'm taking it..?

Follow the progress here.

Update - 1st October:

He made it to LA.  The campaign didn't exactly set the world alight, but I expect they made a lot of friends along the way.  Let's see if they repeat the idea.

Update - Heineken have been running a very similar concept - a man travels from Mongolia to Bangkok, with no money, just Heineken:

Monday, September 10, 2012

How to buy Twitter followers

One of the ways you judge a brand or a celebrity (or even - maybe - a colleague) these days is by looking at how many followers they have on Twitter.

Two Olympic stories:

First, when Edwina Currie caused a fuss on Twitter by making comments about Italian Paralympic athletes during the opening ceremony I initially thought it was probably a fake account because she had fewer than 4,000 followers.

Second, celebrity managers know how important it is for their charges to have an active presence, as shown in this quote from the FT:

"An athlete’s following on Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites has quickly become key in determining [how long an athlete can stay in the spotlight].
“Brands always ask how many followers an athlete has,” said Ricky Simms, director at Pace Sports Management who is Bolt’s worldwide agent. “For many companies, this is the way they want to reach their target customers.”
Olympic athletes traditionally had a short time frame to capitalise on their performance in the Games because they quickly fade from the public eye, according to marketing executives. But social media has allowed the athletes to extend relationships with fans by sharing messages, photos and videos.
Sponsorship now typically involve some social media promotion through an athlete’s Twitter feed or Facebook page. Before the Games, for instance, Bolt posted messages about his sponsors, such as a picture of a refrigerator filled with bottles of the orange Gatorade sports drink"

How do you get lots of followers?  Be very good at Twitter, or more probably, get famous among a group of people.  Greg Rutherford had only a few thousand followers in July, but now he has more than 100,000.

Or...  Buy them.  Today I received an email offering the chance to do just that; 10,000 Twitter followers for £99.  (Or 500 +1s on Google for £99, or 20,000 YouTube views for £199).  (No, I'm not going to link to the company)

As it says in the blurb:

"Please note that whilst all of these followers will be real people, they will not be profiled to meet your target market and are therefore unlikely to interact with your page or buy any of your goods or services.  This service is intended to create the perception that your Twitter page is extremely popular and increase your online credibility."

If you do use the number of Twitter followers someone has as a measure of their worth, or their influence, then use a site like TwitterCounter to see the speed of their follower growth, and look out for any sudden bumps!

Friday, September 07, 2012

Volkswagen's Bluemotion recycling label

This is a very smart campaign for Volkswagen in South Africa.  To emphasise the environmental credentials of Volkswagen's Bluemotion range, they spent some of the advertising & production budget on pre-paid postage stickers that they put on their magazine ads.

When people had finished reading the magazines they just had to put the sticker on the front then post them back to VW in a standard postbox, letting VW recycle the magazines.  South Africa doesn't have many recycling points, so this effectively put a recycling station in every district.

Very clever, and great contrary thinking.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

ABBA - Interactive Timeline on YouTube

Universal Music have just produced this interactive timeline for ABBA.  Watch it through, or click on the mini videos to watch the songs in full.  It's a YouTube first, but clearly an idea that would have lots of applications.

It's good, although unless I'm missing something there is no easy way to return to the 'timeline' video once you've finished watching an individual video, or want to quit before the end.  Also, if you watch on YouTube you get ads before the individual videos.

Scary to think that ABBA were only producing music for eight years, though.


Originally announced in this tweet:

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Old Spice Muscle Music

Watch, and then play.

Old Spice Muscle Music from Terry Crews on Vimeo.

All kinds of awesome...

Via my colleague Liam

Using Twitter to make the gig better

A couple of great examples of how artists are using Twitter to make the live concert experience even better.

First, Enrique Iglesias asked fans to Tweet their seat number before his #EnriqueJLotour, for the chance to meet him backstage afterwards.

The message also appeared on the electronic signs at the venue.

Lots of fans did, many including pictures of themselves, which presumably helped their chances:

Fans got to meet him, tweeted their pictures, and Enrique even tweeted pics of himself and the fans:

Full details and more pics on this Storify

Very smart stuff!

Second, One Direction, who use Twitter in an incredibly engaging way, always ask fans to submit questions to them, which they answer during a section of the gig.

It goes a bit like this:

Whatever you think of One Direction's music, you have to say that it looks like a fun night out!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Mobile site & experience for the Toyota GT86

My colleagues at glue isobar have made this interactive mobile experience for the Toyota GT86.

The Toyota GT86 is the first sports car by Toyota since the MR2, Supra and Celica, and has been over ten years in development.

Built in HTML5, you can swipe across the screen to rotate the car, and access menus to find out more, book a test drive or download a brochure.  Click here on your mobile, scan the QR code, or see the pics above & below:

Friday, August 24, 2012

Review - What Chinese Want by Tom Doctoroff

The publishers were generous enough to send me this book a few months ago.  I've finally read it and am writing a quick review.

I really enjoyed the book.  It's a more of a practical guidebook than a 'Malcolm Gladwell / Steven Johnson sort of book, but all the better for that.

The book starts by saying that to understand China you need to understand three main points:

A fatalistic cyclical view of world
A morally relativistic universe - stability good, chaos bad
& that the family, not the individual is core productive unit of society

then moves on to some short, to the point articles - 37 chapters in 250 pages - covering the different aspects of doing business in China, from the point of view of a Westerner, but one who's been in China for several years.

Some sample chapters:

Doing business in China
Why piracy is here to stay
The new middle class
China’s booming luxury market
Car-crazy China
China’s senior market
Christmas in China

There's even a section at the end on China’s worldview, giving brief descriptions of what they think about a number of subjects, including Japan, South Korea, the Obama brand.

Within these there are some fascinating insights.  For example: Starbucks and Ben & Jerry both theme their communication around enjoyment in public with friends - it's all about public consumption, rather than private enjoyment.  Progress as a person and perceived success is also important; McDonalds make a lot of play of education in China, for example running English lessons.

There are some good sections on Luxury.  We all know that luxury is big in China (again it's the public consumption idea), but since goods generally cost far more in China due to import duties, many who are lucky enough to travel buy luxury goods in the West.

However what successful luxury brands have been doing is to produce very small, entry level products (with the same level of quality), for example phone tags, so that even the less well off Chinese can own something by Louis Vuitton.

I think I would have liked more concrete examples like these, but that may just be the way that my mind works.  I'd strongly recommend this book to anyone interested in the way China is changing, and particularly in how marketing works.

Buy the book here

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Ballantine's tshirtOS

Ballantine's have produced tshirtOS - the world's first T-shirt with an operating system.  It's very fun, and the video shows the sorts of scrapes you can get into wearing it.

"The film puts tshirtOS to the test in London, showcasing what can happen when best friends Sonny and Oliver take it out for a night on the town. See who tshirtOS talks to, the dark alleys it leads them down and the dance moves it inspires. Will the tshirtOS 1024 LED screen blend in with the crowd at a Roy Lichtenstein themed party?"

Where can you get one?  Register here

Asos use Google Hangouts for a live shop-along

Brands are starting to get creative with the Hangouts part of Google+.  Asos held an hour long 'shop-along' earlier this month where Asos US editor Indigo Clarke & 'New York girl-about-town Cory Kennedy' answered fashion queries live.

Yes, numbers are still low (fewer than 200 people attended this), but it's an innovative way to use the platform.

One Direction launch their new single

Just tell people it's coming out, than let them buy it a few hours later.  No paid media.

& get the individual band members to tweet about it too (Harry Styles now has more followers than the corporate One Direction account, as well as being the 15th most popular user globally on Instagram)

A couple of hours later the video has had over 12,000 comments.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Axe on SocialCam

Axe (Lynx in the UK) are getting onto SocialCam, the mobile-orientated video service.

They've also shared the 'Susan Glenn' ad on the service.

See their channel here.  Very yoof!

You can also see the top users (by no. of subscribers) here

Earlier - Washington Post's Olympic reporting on SocialCam Although they seem to have stopped now.  Guys - it starts again next week!

Green Day's Angry Birds

Green Day are the next brand to jump on the Angry Birds juggernaut, following Rio (the film) and NASA (who presumably didn't pay).  There are 10 special levels, and a new song to unlock (dread word!).  It's all in aid of three new albums that Green Day are releasing.

More here.

From a hundred years ago (2008) - Weezer songs included in Tap Tap Revenge

Friday, August 17, 2012

Domino's partners with Local Motors to crowdsource a pizza delivery vehicle

Local Motors is a site and open source car company that lets people design their own cars for production.  So far they're most famous for the Rally Fighter (now in production).  The concept is that people design cars, or hold design competitions, and if there is enough demand they go into production.

Now Domino are using the community to hold a competition to design the perfect pizza delivery vehicle.  It'll be interesting to see what comes out of this; it could be pretty special.

Here's one of the (more sensible) competition entries.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

VW Beetle on Shark Week

Great stunt, great partnership.  What a great idea to sponsor Shark Week, celebrating its 25th year. (Although I'm guessing that this might have originated with Discovery Channel, rather than the agency)

They even drove it on the bottom of the ocean

It's one ad you can't skip.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Don't Stop Me Now

It's been a fantastic fortnight.  I never wanted it to end, and we only have two weeks to wait before the Paralympics, but this is a beautiful way to remember all that's happened so far at London 2012

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Monetising a blog

A couple of years ago I wrote about the menswear blog Put This On.  I had another look at it today (curiosity sparked by trying to find a male version of the Wendy's Look Book videos)

Put This On definitely isn't a male version of those (though there'd be a huge market for them if someone wants to make some), but what it has done is find a really good way of monetising.

PTO started listing cool items that were being listed on Ebay, and found that it was a really popular service.  In fact, you can see how the popularity was self defeating - suddenly lots of people were bidding for the same cool vintage sweaters and shoes.

What they've done is to produce a weekly email alerts of the best Ebay items as a subscription service, at approximately $1 a week, through, as 'Put This On - Inside Track'

It's a very clever solution to monetising blogs that are effectively curating items around a theme, and also makes use of one of my favourite trends, managing scarcity.

Update - 2013 - they now also have an Etsy page, selling pocket squares offer lots of other things on subscription, including subscriptions to fine soaps, loose leaf tea, and arty prints, but sadly aren't taking on new clients at the moment.

Logo Tracking in Instagram

How do you know when people are referencing your brand, but don't mention it by name?  Do like Cadbury, and use image recognition technology to monitor for your logo.

Last week I was at the Olympic Park (Hockey - yay), and bought one of the Cadbury Gold Medals (effectively an over-sized coin, with a ribbon).

I then took a picture of it, and posted it to Instagram (& Twitter) with the caption 'Gold Medal!!!'

Within a couple of minutes Cadbury had liked it and written 'Congratulations'

Very well done...

Update - It's been pointed out that they might have just monitored Instagram & Twitter for words like 'medal'...

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Zaarly's Button

It's one thing to have an app, a venue on Foursquare, a Pinterest page, an Instagram account...  But can you get a button?

This is what Zaarly have managed to do.  Zaarly is a local services company that you can use in the US to find someone to do (pretty much) any service for you from painting to dog walking to cooking.

Zaarly have now placed a button (they call it Zaarly Anywhere) on several sites alongside the existing sharing & bookmarking buttons to ask for people on Zaarly to help with related tasks.

The example sites they give on their blog are The Fancy, Remodelaholic, Cookstr, Simplified Building, Everyday Health, Ikea Hackers

A concrete example:  You like this modified table on Ikea Hackers, but you lack the time or skills to do it yourself - so you click the button, and it makes a posting on your local Zaarly to try to find someone to help.

Or, you like this recipe on Cookstr, but you'd actually like someone to cook it for you.

(Sadly it's not yet available in the UK)

More at the Zaarly blog.

Very impressive!

Monday, August 06, 2012

Brands 'Hijacking' The Olympics

A few months ago I did a post giving some examples of brand ads from official Olympic sponsors.

Now, just over a week in, here are a few from brands who are not officially associated with London 2012, but who are still trying to associate themselves in the public's minds with it.  Incidentally I don't mean anything legal by 'Hijacking', it's just that in the perception of many they are using guerilla marketing to ambush or associate themselves with the event and the coverage.


The most obvious example, trading on the 'no, not *that* London' idea

Also, this one.  Again, a different London:

Paddy Power

Also talking about a different place called London


Talking about a celebration, and how they can't be any more specific

"It offered a 30% discount to anyone who visits its stores with products from non-Olympic sponsors.
To qualify, customers need to visit one of Oddbins' 35 branches wearing Nike trainers and have in their pocket a set of Vauxhall car keys, an RBS MasterCard, an iPhone, a bill from British Gas and a receipt for a Pepsi bought at KFC."


Trading on a certain sprinter's 'archer' victory stance


Trading on the Olympic flag mix-up in the first day


Ad in an email newsletter received by a colleague, and possibly less of a case of a hijack than someone not knowing the law

Beats by Dr Dre

They didn't advertise, but they did give nice headphones to athletes in the hope they'd use them on camera


Google isn't an official partner as far as I know, but they've been doing a series of doodles during the games, some playable, including Hurdles and Basketball

The Guardian

Not exactly a hijack, but they re-created key moments using LEGO bricks

Please let me know about any others in the comments!

Also - here are some other examples of ambush marketing from previous events.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Next Generation Media Quarterly - July 2012

Have a look at my latest quarterly presentation, filled with illuminating stats and great examples from the last 3 months.

Past presentations here

Monday, July 23, 2012

The power of celebrity

Harry Styles posted this picture of Niall Horan holding a Wispa at 3.05pm on 21st of July.

Less than 48 hours later it's had 44,000 re-Tweets, 42,000 Favourites, and 152,000 Likes on Instagram.

I think Cadbury are probably quite pleased!

Whenever you see articles in the tabloids about One Direction and the individual members there are always lots of comments to the effect of "They'll be skint on the dole within a year."  This is clearly not a likely outcome - whatever happens with their music Twitter, Instagram, and other channels have given them a direct route to their fans that will keep them earning for a long, long time.
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